It is now two days after the Philippine midterm elections last Monday, May 13. Filipinos all over the country have gone to their polling precincts and cast their ballots into the vote counting machines. These have made their fourth appearance in Philippine elections and are now established presences in national-level voting for public office. That is not to say they are flawless; breakdowns and bad Wi-Fi signals still hampered national vote transmission. But barring isolated violent incidents the 2019 elections were peaceful and swift. The same applies locally to GenSan, where the winning officials have been announced after completed counting.
Despite the late start of canvassing for the city on Tuesday, July 14, the results have not been in doubt following the running unofficial counts since election. Manila Bulletin has it that incumbent Ronnel Rivera is confirmed to another term as Mayor of General Santos City. At over 100,000 votes he held a comfortable lead over his closest competitor Jay Omila. On the other hand, the Acharon family has proven that GenSan still remembers the name when Loreto “Ton” Acharon, brother to Pedro Acharon Jr., won the Vice Mayor seat against Rivera’s PCM running mate Lorelie Pacquiao, with closer numbers.
Another Acharon, Odjok, is the top Councilor according to ABS-CBN Regional’s MUS. Next on the list is former Mayor Lita Nuñez, settling into the City Council similar to how Juan Ponce Enrile has in the Senate. Joining them are Lulu Casabuena, Jose Edmar Yumang, Liklik Tan, Jeng Gacal, Dominador Lagare, Shandee Llido, Jonathan Blando, Vanvan Congson, Bing Dinopol and Richard Atendido. All are familiar faces and many are part of the PCM party of Senator Manny Pacquiao. Optimally this would ensure a smoother City Government for GenSan with PCM presence.
It was to be expected. The Philippine News Agency reports that GenSan and the rest of Region XII SOCCSKSARGEN overcame technical difficulties such as faulty vote counting machines to be considered generally peaceful and successful. Causes for the delayed canvassing include the stalled transmission of VCM results from Barangay Upper Labay back in Monday. But as seen above, the COMELEC canvassing once started was finished quickly, with the winners proclaimed and the losing candidates conceding the results without much fuss.
Images: DNDistribution, South Cotabato News